Good Spider For Beginner? Is Nephila Madagascarensis?

LittleGremlin

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 13, 2017
Messages
44
Hi there,

I'm interested in keeping a spider, i really have my heart set on the Nephila Pilipes since i saw one in Thailand, i can't find anyone selling them but I have found someone selling Nephila Madagascarensis. I don't want to jump in at the deep end, so are they any good for beginners and if not what would you suggest?

I have & do keep tarantulas, just beginner species of those too.

Thanks!
 

chanda

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 27, 2010
Messages
2,059
Nephila sp. are not generally good as pet spiders unless you have a LOT of space for them to web - like just give them one end of the room and a couple of potted ficuses or something. They won't have room to construct an adequate web in a small cage - and without a web to catch their food, will starve.

Easy spiders to start out with include Latrodectus sp. (black and brown widows) IF you are aware of the potentially dangerous venom and keep your fingers out of the enclosure - or if you prefer something without dangerous venom, Peucetia sp. (Lynx spiders), Jumping spiders, Huntsman spiders, and Wolf spiders are all pretty easy to keep. (Many tarantulas are also easy to keep, but I assume you're only interested in true spiders?)

If you have your heart set on an orb-weaver, there are some smaller species that don't require as much space. I've kept Argiope trifasciata and Argiope argentata in captivity (in large screen or mesh sided enclosures with lots of sticks for attachment points and plenty of space to web). They're not terribly difficult to keep - but they can be picky eaters. Mine never liked crickets, probably because the crickets could kick their webs apart too easily, so I had to catch flies and moths for them.
 

LittleGremlin

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 13, 2017
Messages
44
Nephila sp. are not generally good as pet spiders unless you have a LOT of space for them to web - like just give them one end of the room and a couple of potted ficuses or something. They won't have room to construct an adequate web in a small cage - and without a web to catch their food, will starve.

Easy spiders to start out with include Latrodectus sp. (black and brown widows) IF you are aware of the potentially dangerous venom and keep your fingers out of the enclosure - or if you prefer something without dangerous venom, Peucetia sp. (Lynx spiders), Jumping spiders, Huntsman spiders, and Wolf spiders are all pretty easy to keep. (Many tarantulas are also easy to keep, but I assume you're only interested in true spiders?)

If you have your heart set on an orb-weaver, there are some smaller species that don't require as much space. I've kept Argiope trifasciata and Argiope argentata in captivity (in large screen or mesh sided enclosures with lots of sticks for attachment points and plenty of space to web). They're not terribly difficult to keep - but they can be picky eaters. Mine never liked crickets, probably because the crickets could kick their webs apart too easily, so I had to catch flies and moths for them.
Yes a true spider. That's a shame but makes complete sense the one i saw in Thailand had the biggest web i had ever seen, truly amazing. I do have a green house it could take over but i live in England UK and the winter time gets very cold and i doubt it would survive.
The Argiope Argentata looks incredible but i can't find any suppliers of that species. Same with Widows, they're not native here and i can't say i've ever seen one for sale.
I have seen a sweet lady bird spider 'Eresus walckenaeri', do you know anything about those?
 

GingerC

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 10, 2017
Messages
117
I've never heard of the spider you mentioned, but I've kept a few different species native to my area and they're all pretty fun. All I have at the moment is a regal jumping spider (Phidippus regius) male and he's very easy to keep.

I put him in a tall cookie jar with paper towels on the bottom and sticks to climb; the spider stays in the hidey holes he made on the lid, but these spiders are aggressive feeders that will tackle prey far larger than themselves. Males and females are both really pretty; the male's bold patterns of black and white and vivid blue fangs can be appreciated by anyone, but females look similar to calico cats. The only downside is that they can be hard to obtain unless they live in your area; I bought mine on bugsincyberspace.com in February.

Cellar spiders are common to just about everywhere and look fairly ordinary, but they're a blast to keep. I had about a bajilion of them in second grade, thanks to an accidental breeding, and one pair lived in a tiny dollar store bug cage while the others lived in a giant cardboard box with windows made out of plastic wrap. I've been hoping to obtain some more lately, but since my house is completely spider free it'll be a while.

Anyway, they are hardy and will tackle just about anything you throw into their webs. You can also house them pretty dang easily, as evidenced by my eight year old self.

Small orbweavers are a bit harder to house, since they can't climb many surfaces and they are very picky about where they build their webs, but I've had some sort of orbweaver (it was the size and shape of a bloated tick) in a mason jar and fed it fruit flies before. As long as it builds a web, you can't go wrong with a orbweaver, in my opinion.
 

Nephila Edulis

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
201
You should be able to house smaller orb weavers fairly effectively with a spider frame. You could also keep smaller orb weavers in something like a large mesh cage. As for nephila, you don't have much of a chance unless it goes in your greenhouse.
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
5,084
I keep reading that Nephila need a room but my girl did great in a 2ft exo terra. Sure their webs aren't as big but they're not fussed so long as the web they build captures prey. And they do because you throw the roaches I to the web for her.
 

Ambly

Arachnobaron
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Messages
328
These spiders get enormous and build enormous webs. I've seen geckos in their webs in the wild - adult Phelsuma lineata day geckos. If you could do a giant enclosure it would be an incredible display.
 

Nephila Edulis

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
201
I keep reading that Nephila need a room but my girl did great in a 2ft exo terra. Sure their webs aren't as big but they're not fussed so long as the web they build captures prey. And they do because you throw the roaches I to the web for her.
That depends on the species of nephila. As far as I know the best way to house them is a spider frame because they're cheap and can be built bigger than most vivariums.
 

Leila

Arachnobaron
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Feb 7, 2017
Messages
525
Cellar spiders are common to just about everywhere and look fairly ordinary, but they're a blast to keep.
I LOVE cellar spiders! At the beginning of this winter, my fiance and I had 3 of them posted up in 3 different corners of our bedroom. They were everywhere. I even found one by my nightstand. :embarrassed: I was so so happy to have them around. I did not attempt to keep them- just let them be..for the most part. One night, I did very verrrrrrryyyyy lightly tap a teensy bit of one's web that was attached to the wall, and it proceeded to gyrate in its cute web. It just spun and spun around like a maniac. I left it alone after that because I felt like a butt for disturbing it.

I was sad when the cellar spiders left a month later. I loved having them around. (Omg, what I just said would sound so insane to anyone not on this or any other arachnid board...ha!)
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
5,084
These spiders get enormous and build enormous webs. I've seen geckos in their webs in the wild - adult Phelsuma lineata day geckos. If you could do a giant enclosure it would be an incredible display.
Whilst all of that is true they only build enormous webs because they have to make sure they catch enough food. In captivity they're guaranteed to catch food.
 

Nephila Edulis

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
201
Whilst all of that is true they only build enormous webs because they have to make sure they catch enough food. In captivity they're guaranteed to catch food.
I assume that's why they don't bother repairing their webs in captivity. Keeping them a little more hungry keeps their webs more intact and the spider is oftentimes more active
 

LittleGremlin

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 13, 2017
Messages
44
I keep reading that Nephila need a room but my girl did great in a 2ft exo terra. Sure their webs aren't as big but they're not fussed so long as the web they build captures prey. And they do because you throw the roaches I to the web for her.
Really, what type was she? Also as you're in the UK, where did you manage to find one?
 

GingerC

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 10, 2017
Messages
117
I LOVE cellar spiders! At the beginning of this winter, my fiance and I had 3 of them posted up in 3 different corners of our bedroom. They were everywhere. I even found one by my nightstand. :embarrassed: I was so so happy to have them around. I did not attempt to keep them- just let them be..for the most part. One night, I did very verrrrrrryyyyy lightly tap a teensy bit of one's web that was attached to the wall, and it proceeded to gyrate in its cute web. It just spun and spun around like a maniac. I left it alone after that because I felt like a butt for disturbing it.

I was sad when the cellar spiders left a month later. I loved having them around. (Omg, what I just said would sound so insane to anyone not on this or any other arachnid board...ha!)
Cellar spiders are my absolute favorite spiders, ever! They're just little spindly-legged beans! I can see why people would be creeped out by their legs, but at the same time I just can't relate.
 

Leila

Arachnobaron
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Feb 7, 2017
Messages
525
Cellar spiders are my absolute favorite spiders, ever! They're just little spindly-legged beans! I can see why people would be creeped out by their legs, but at the same time I just can't relate.
Total sweethearts, those cellar spiders! "Spindly-legged beans" is a very fitting description! Yeee! :)
Have you ever seen a spitting spider (scytodidae- might have spelled that incorrectly)?? They are also fantastic. Was my very first pet spider. She produced an egg sac, but I knew too little back then. My husbandry was so poor... :( RIP Tyrion (I named her before I was aware of her sex, hence the male name.)
 

Deb60

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
Messages
125
Yes a true spider. That's a shame but makes complete sense the one i saw in Thailand had the biggest web i had ever seen, truly amazing. I do have a green house it could take over but i live in England UK and the winter time gets very cold and i doubt it would survive.
The Argiope Argentata looks incredible but i can't find any suppliers of that species. Same with Widows, they're not native here and i can't say i've ever seen one for sale.
I have seen a sweet lady bird spider 'Eresus walckenaeri', do you know anything about those?
 

Deb60

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jan 7, 2017
Messages
125
I believe that in the wild in the UK they are very rare . Are their any bred in captivity ?
 
Top